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Fri June 5 2015 07:41:18

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Store Owner

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I found your story about Target and resellers ... and I "found out for myself" on Friday, May 22nd when I went to checkout! After scanning three carts full of merchandise, the "K5" option for resale was "missing!" We called a manager over only to find out about the NEW POLICY ... I was unable to complete my transaction!!!

I have shopped with Target for over 10-years. They have provided my small variety store with a number of different items and my last statement with them is for more than five-thousand dollars. Now, I am not fully sure who will supply me with the many different items I counted on Target to have for my small business. While there is still Walmart, Target seemed to provide me with a better variety, better prices and promotions.
 
The "excuse" I have read for Target concerning resellers and this new policy does not seem to make sense ... if they offered a "loss leader" that was so much of a concern then why not put a LIMIT on units sold! Why turn away every reseller's business if you suffered a loss from a "loss leader" when it would have been so easy to control that situation! 

The concern, I understand, comes from a Lilly Pulitzer promotion that had many people ("resellers") buying these items only to sell them for more on eBay and Amazon. And, I don't see how stopping resellers at the register will solve this problem ... ANYONE could visit Target and buy what they want and try and sell it for a higher price online. A true reseller only wants to supply their business ... they are not after a "quick buck."
 
I will add this ... Target might hurt their own sales. Mind you that Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco, BJ Wholesale - they are all stores that welcome "mom & pop" traffic. Small businesses, restaurant owners ... they all visit these stores for bulk purchases and many use their resale numbers. Target could have continued to be a partner in that market! Now that they refuse sales to resellers.

Not only have they hurt small business owners, I have to see it hurting their sales as well. I am going to have to consider Walmart more and more for many of the items I counted on Target to supply. Of course, I also shopped Target for personal purchases as well.
 
I sure hope Target changes their mind and cancels this new policy! Of course ... there was not much information I could get at the store level about this. I plan to deal more with the matter and contact their main office. However, I fear, my 10-PLUS-years-of-business with Target may be OVER!
From,
Mark




Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 5 08:51:53 2015

op, as a business owner for over 45 years, there is an old saying "never place all your eggs in one basket" you should never depend upon only one source to buy from. it is sad however that a few would wreck it for a larger group.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jun 5 11:10:10 2015

I'm confused by Mark's letter. He states he buys things at Target to resell in his "small variety store." I don't know why people would buy items from a small variety store when they can buy them directly from Target where they would have a better selection of items. When I think of Target, I don't think "wholesale" supplier. And depending on what Mark's store sells, he can probably find the same items elsewhere.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jun 5 11:21:05 2015

I think Target is shooting themselves in the foot. I do understand limits on certain items (such as the designer partnership items) but it seems to me that they are just chasing off business.  Resellers who buy lower volumes will still buy there and they still will resell.

It must truly be a luxury to be in a position to pick and choose who buys from you.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 5 11:47:27 2015

@iheartjacksparrow.

I assume you live in a fairly large city with a target, lowe's, penneys etc within driving distance....

I live in a very small town where the nearest gas station is almost 8 miles away.  The nearest big box store is almost 40 miles away. I depend on my small local variety store for some of my everyday things.

Yes Irene there are still people who plan on a big trip to the city once a month or so.

The local variety stores are the live blood of those of us who prefer to live in the country without all the noise, dirt and crime of the big cities. Out here neighbors help each other instead of stealing from each other.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 5 11:49:35 2015

OP needs to get a tax license and start buying from wholesalers instead of relying on the marked up items at the big box stores.

Has no one ever heard of,

Hey Harriet, mark up this 10.00 hat to 15.00 and then next week put it on sale for 12.00

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Jun 5 12:13:29 2015

@IHJS: In my experience, these types of small variety stores are sometimes off-the-beaten-path, or in small one-stoplight towns where it's more convenient for the locals to pop-in and buy one or two essentials rather than driving all the way into town.

For example: My husband and I often stay at RV campgrounds that have a small convenience & sundry store for basic travel necessities.

Those types of items are likely available elsewhere at a less-expensive price... but when traveling in unfamiliar territory (or when having to decide whether or not it's worthwhile to unhook the RV's connections for a trip into town) the campground's ''variety store'' is a much better option.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jun 5 12:29:09 2015

sasikat9 says "OP needs to get a tax license and start buying from wholesalers instead of relying on the marked up items at the big box stores."

I had a relative who had a small convenience store out in the country, in the middle of no where.  He could buy many products at Walmart cheaper than he could get them from a wholesaler.  The last time I went to a flea market I was taken aback at how many sellers were selling Dollar Tree items at their booths, what what appeared to be a 5X mark-up.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Jun 5 12:49:07 2015

I agree with the OP in that Target could easily place quantity limits on some items such as "loss leader" items, but why restrict the sale of goods selling at their normal retail asking price, regardless of what the buyer is going to do with them? Sounds like the same sort of imbecilic executive decision making that we have come to expect from eBay …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Jun 5 12:55:08 2015

Hey Annie, I thought that everyone in the U.S. trailered a small SUV on the back of their motor homes for such running about ...

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Jun 5 13:04:50 2015

Wholesale or Supermarket Retail: Years ago, as a proprietor of a small retail business (hotel), I could buy slabs of Coke wholesale from Coke for 90c can; the supermarkets were selling it retail for less than what I was paying wholesale. So, there is a case for a small business buying from a supermarket rather than a wholesaler if the opportunity is there. Indeed, I have at times seen people coming out of an Aldi supermarket with trolleys full to the brim with quantities of stuff that is most likely being used in or resold by another retailer.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jun 5 13:44:58 2015

I apologize for my unfamiliarity with regard to out-of-the-way stores. While I don't live in a major city, within a very short driving distance I have at least three Targets, four WalMarts, three malls, an outlet mall, and a CVS on practically every other corner. Plus all the Dollar Trees, 99 Cents stores, and their clones. So there is no shortage of places to buy stuff around me.  

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Jun 5 14:27:17 2015

@Philip ... You're correct that many folks do. But I'm afraid that such luxuries are a bit out of our budget. :-)

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 5 14:51:00 2015

The retailers can and should do whatever they wish. Fortunately for them, eBay is not running/ruining their businesses.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 6 08:44:16 2015

@Philip
it is still that way we can buy say coke for less money than if we went direct to coke cola, it has been this way for years, the large chain stores buy such a large quantity of products the smaller stores cannot compete

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Jun 6 08:45:05 2015

RCL says "The retailers can and should do whatever they wish."

Actually they can't. They must abide by state,federal,and local laws.  True that there are certain things that they can do, but they have to operate within the law.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 7 01:25:05 2015

@iheartjacksparrow

I live in the center of a largish city but do have some great local retailers within a mile of my house. I'd rather pay a few extra dollars to the local kid's bookstore or dime store or toy store which do have excellent customer service than to hassle with driving a whole 15 minutes to fight the parking lot of a big box store.

Not everything is about buying the cheapest item out there.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 7 13:02:54 2015

@sparklyeyes7

You just stated the truest best statement on this site in months....

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 7 21:00:34 2015

@rexford

RCL says "The retailers can and should do whatever they wish."

Actually they can't. They must abide by state,federal,and local laws.  True that there are certain things that they can do, but they have to operate within the law.

Of course a retailer like Target has to abide by laws, but limiting or not accepting resale certificates is not against the law. It's their business and they can do as they please.
OP is probably not purchasing full price items for resale, they are purchasing markdowns, clearance and special promotion items, and Target has a right to conduct their business as they wish.
Many of these people return a high volume of items if they don't sell, so it's a complete loss to them.
Many customers go to Target for the clearance and when they don't find any they leave.
We are always complaining that Ebay doesn't let us conduct our business the way we want, Target should be able to conduct it the way it wants.
I just don't see them as doing anything wrong. Bottom line is their business, they have to cater to the majority of their customers

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: richknobsales This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 8 00:55:37 2015

Two decades ago, I knew of a number of small independent pharmacies that depended on filling a cart with product at WalMart that was on uber-sale and repricing it at their own stores. There were many of them, and they networked on the phone, as in those days the Internet was still budding and email was slow on good days.

These merchants made their profits on the loss leaders of the mega-chains. This hasn't changed - other than it's on the 'Net now instead of your local storefront.

If it's a problem for Target, then they need to limit their purchase quantities.

Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor   Target Ban on Resellers Impacts Small Variety-Stor

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 8 01:22:45 2015

Retail arbitrage is not confined to food, staples and dry goods. There are resellers who make a good living buying underpriced ''collectibles'' off of Ebay and similar markets and reselling them in higher class online and offline boutiques in London and New York etc. How would you ever stop that?

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